Hundreds of Chileans and Kiwis alike marched peacefully down Auckland’s Queen St today to protest growing inequality and high living costs in the South American country.
The march follows demonstrations in Chile sparked by grievances over the Chilean Government raising subway fares. The protests then turned into a wider protest over high living costs and growing inequality.
A Chilean protestor in Auckland told 1 NEWS, “the actual TV television story is that it was a riot.
“It was not. It was a pacifist protest suppressed by the [Chilean] army.”
He said the Auckland demonstrators also thought Chile could not host the APEC meetings in November while not taking care of its people.
He said non-Chileans joined the cause today when he explained what they were marching for.
Another Chilean protestor at the march on Queen Street said he was protesting the reported killings of protestors in Chile by the military.
The Los Angeles Times reported at least 19 people died in the unrest in Chile, five reportedly by police or military.
While the Chilean Government back-tracked on the fares increase early last week, protests continued throughout the past week, and numbers swelled to over 1 million.
Officials in the Santiago region said three people died in fires at two looted supermarkets early last Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Five more people later were found dead in the basement of a burned warehouse and were not employees, authorities said.
Buses were burned and subway stops, office buildings and stores were vandalised in Chile.